One-hundred ninety-seven million. That’s how many square miles you have to explore on this planet, to explore our humanity and the various chemicals and organisms complementing your existence. It’s probably safe to say that you have countless opportunities to learn outside your 25-square-foot classroom.

A handful of those opportunities take place just a few buildings down from the lecture hall you’re currently sitting in. And they’re really valuable.

If you didn’t notice, this particular paper is overloaded with campus events, speakers and opportunities for activism. And this week is really no busier than any other. Browse the Grand Valley State University events page and you’ll see at least 15 on-campus activities for you to participate in on any given day.

Some expose you to new cultures and religions, some open dialogue for you to better understand the perspectives of different social groups, and some simply provide you the chance to sit in the same room and breathe the same air as well-known people both in and out of your academic field.

Though many classes provide valuable information that may be used in a future job, these extra events are important to your development as both a student and a human being. They expand your learning outside of courses and, in some cases, allow you to apply your theory to real-life circumstances.

For some of us graduating editors reflecting on our time at GVSU, we can say with certainty that one of our greatest regrets is waiting until now to start taking advantage of the extra opportunities offered by the university.

Since there are so many happenings on and around campus, there is no excuse not to attend at least one. There are a variety of events that pertain to a wide array of interests, so students can find something that they will enjoy to hear and learn more about, or even get involved in.

Time is also no excuse. With all these events happening at all times of the day, you can find a little time to attend one or more, and most professors accommodate your attendance of events during class time.

While classes are important, skipping one to hear a speaker that may be interesting or helpful to your future might be more important and even crucial to your college experience.

So that list of opportunities we were talking about? Go ahead and pick one. Or two or three. Skip class if need be.

These opportunities are of immense value (and, to be honest, you may find more use learning about being a better human at one of these events than continuing an SWS lecture from previous weeks).